How shall the young secure their hearts?

Published 8:54 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

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Christians often sing the words, “How Shall The Young Secure Their Hearts.” Considering the threats that our young face it is a fitting question. How can the young secure their hearts and serve God while living in our sin filled world? While there are many modern authors who attempt to answer the question with the philosophy of men, God gave the answer many centuries ago through the inspired writer Solomon.
Solomon concludes that living in the world without God is vanity. However, the young are encouraged to live their lives joyfully, remembering that God will one day judge all men. Solomon said, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour” (Ecclesiastes 2:24 KJV). He also added, “But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:8 KJV). The vanity that Solomon speaks of includes all the hardships that men face as they grow older and eventually face death. The young should know that living their lives, when viewed purely from an earthly perspective, is vanity. That does not mean one should simply give up in despair. We should be reminded that God created this world for us to enjoy, but He warns us to do so with eternity in mind. Consider the counsel Solomon offers for living in this world.
Solomon first encourages the young to rejoice in their youth (Ecclesiastes 11:9). The young should remember that youth is a fleeting commodity, that they, like their elders, will one day age and be unable to do the things they can do in their youth. So, while one is young, they should take advantage of their abilities and at the same time not forget to make God part of their lives and never forget the coming judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Solomon also encourages the young to remove sorrow and evil from their hearts (Ecclesiastes 11:10). The young should avoid things that will bring sorrow to their lives, in this way they can enjoy life as they grow into adulthood. In Proverbs 1:10-19, Solomon adds that the young should remove evil from their lives. This is important because youthful indiscretions can bring sorrow. Sin, evil companions, and a life of apathy will lead to a life of regret.
The young are reminded to remember God in their youth. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Serving God is not just for the elderly. The Bible lists several young men who served God and as a result they lived happy and full lives. Men like Joseph, Samuel and Josiah served God improving their own lives and bringing glory and honor to God. Perhaps our best example is the Son of God. In Luke 2:41-52, we find Jesus at the age of 12 making this statement, “… How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Then there is Timothy who lived for God from his youth (2 Timothy 3:15, 1 Timothy 4:12).
Serving God is important for the young and old alike, doing so will help you make the right choices in life. Serving God helped Joseph when he was faced with difficult decisions in his life (Genesis 39:7-12). Rather than sinning, this young man with God in his life chose Godliness instead of sinfulness.
Finally, Solomon said, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; … Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 KJV).
There are difficult days ahead in the lives of the young. Therefore, they should remember that, presuming they live long enough, there will be difficult days ahead. As they grow old the once young will face the difficulty of a failing body and eventually death.
Yes, at times life will be difficult and that is why the young are encouraged to take advantage of their youth by remembering their creator. It is through serving God and denying ungodliness that the young can secure their heart from sin. While the young have this responsibility, the older Christians, mothers, and fathers should encourage the young with the words of Solomon.
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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